NORTHERN IRELAND – “The North is next” – proposals put forward to try and make this happen

As in Ireland up to now, it is almost impossible to get an abortion in Northern Ireland. The most immediate fallout of the Irish referendum results on 26 May was the call from many quarters for Northern Ireland to be next. However, there are complex political realities that will get in the way. The first and most important is that policy on abortion was devolved by the UK Parliament to Northern Ireland and Scotland some … Continued

POLAND – Tens of thousands march against the latest anti-abortion bill on 23 March

Between 55,000 and 90,000 people took the streets of Warsaw and other cities across Poland on 23 March to protest against the anti-abortion bill that would make abortion on grounds of severe and fatal fetal anomaly illegal, another #blackfriday in Poland. Watch this video (already watched more than 607,000 times) of the march. A statement signed by more than 200 human rights and women’s rights groups from around the world was also published on the … Continued

USA – Supreme Court hears case on whether there is a right to access unbiased medical information

On 20 March, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. The case challenges a California law called the Reproductive Freedom Accountability Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act, passed in 2015. The Act requires a disclosure by all reproductive health care facilities in the state. Licensed clinics must post a notice that the state provides low-cost contraception and abortion services to those who qualify. Unlicensed facilities … Continued

NAMIBIA – “Botched abortion lands woman in handcuffs”

We are quoting this “news” article from New Era in Namibia to give an example of how not to write a news article about an illegal abortion. What’s wrong with this article? 1) The number of weeks the woman was pregnant is unstated. 2) The use of the phrase “fully developed infant” may or may not be accurate. 3) The fact that the report says the nurses claimed to have noticed “a tablet” in the … Continued

KENYA – Bring back 2012 safe abortion guidelines

“Laws that criminalise abortion but without concomitantly articulating clearly the grounds for lawful abortion… unduly deter healthcare providers from providing health services to women even where abortion is lawful. Equally, such laws create misperceptions about abortion as conduct that is criminal at all times.” (Charles Ngwena, 2013. Reforming African abortion laws to achieve transparency: arguments from equality. African Journal of International and Comparative Law 2013:21(3):398-426.) Background The above quote sums up perfectly the unresolved state … Continued

BURKINA FASO – A long road to walk to enjoy a “right”

Alice is a school student in Ouagadougou. Three years ago, she was raped at school by two of her classmates and became pregnant. She sought help from the school’s Health Officer and had a clandestine abortion. Since then, however, she is no longer in school and has suffered from sequelae – physical, psychological and legal. Yet she was eligible for a legal abortion. Lack of information, fear of stigma, slowness of judicial processes, all prevent … Continued

INDIA – Courts and medical reports are not the answer

According to an article in the Lancet of December 2015, 15.6 million abortions occurred in India, of which 73% were sought outside health facilities, despite India having a very liberal abortion law. In 2017, in what was considered a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India ruled that individual privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right” as part of the right to life and liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution. This judgment should have … Continued

BRAZIL – The turbulence in Brazil continues

As the turbulence of Brazil’s political climate and sexual politics overall continues, the abortion rights debates decidedly intensified in November 2017 (check here for updates in Portuguese). As reported by the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion on 24 November, Amendment No.181, a provision aimed at including right to life from conception into the Constitution, was approved by a Special Commission of the Chamber of Deputies on 8 November.

THAILAND – Nurse charged with running an illegal abortion clinic

A nurse has been arrested for allegedly running an illegal private abortion clinic in Muang district. The woman, who is aged 56, previously worked as nurse in private hospitals in the district. She was apprehended in her apartment around 9.30pm on 16 November. Abortion equipment and pills were impounded. The raid was jointly launched by police from the intellectual property enforcement centre and provincial police, after a suspect was detained earlier for selling abortion pills, … Continued

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